The Trace

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Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
4.9 X 0.8 X 7.7 inches | 0.65 pounds
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About the Author

Born in 1856 in California's Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry-informed by his knowledge of geology-turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action.Gander's books of poetry include Be With (New Directions, 2018), Core Samples from the World (2011), Eye Against Eye (2005), Torn Awake (2001), and Science & Steepleflower (1998). Critic Barbara Fischer wrote in the Boston Review that Gander's poetry "marshals a sinewy and strenuous language for familial, sensory, and erotic experience." A master of the long poem, Gander uses the form to consider his subjects from a variety of approaches, and as the proving ground for unique formal constraints. His book Be With won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize.Though primarily a poet, Gander is also a translator, novelist, essayist, and the editor of two anthologies. He has translated collections by Mexican poets Pura Lopez Colomé and Coral Bracho. With Kent Johnson he translated Bolivian poet Jaime Saenz's Immanent Visitor and The Night (2007), for which he won a PEN Translation Award. His translations of Neruda are included in The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (2004). He also edited the bilingual anthology Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women (1993). Gander's own poetry has been translated into several languages. His novel, As a Friend, was published in 2008.Gander has won the Whiting Writers' Award, a Howard Foundation Award, the Jessica Nobel Maxwell Memorial Prize, two Gertrude Stein Awards for innovative North American writing, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and United States Artists. He has taught at Harvard and Brown, and was until his retirement The Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University, Gander taught courses such as Poetry & Ethics, EcoPoetics, Latin American Death Trip, and Translation Theory & Practice.He now lives in California.


Gander's poetic writing lends this story a dense, brooding atmosphere; a carefully crafted novel of intimacy and isolation.
Gander's novel surges. No other writer that I know of has so accurately and carefully depicted the tiny internecine battles of two lovers on an interminable drive as Gander does in this book.--Lowry Pressly
Gander shows he is keenly aware of the loneliness that imbues human suffering and sets grief alight using beautiful, tense, haunting prose. As the well-paced plot creeps ever forward, the mysterious events at the beginning of the book are slowly revealed, resulting in an incendiary denouement that comes as a relief, but one not without each character's sacrifices.
I haven't read many novels as spooky and sublime and psychologically acute as Forrest Gander's The Trace. It's the portrait of a couple in crisis and their misguided road trip through the Chihuahua desert, on the tracks of the writer Ambrose Bierce. Gander's landscapes are lyrical and precise ('raw gashed mountains, gnarly buttes of andesite'), and his study of a marriage on the rocks is as empathetic as it is unsparing.--Robyn Creswell
His work burrows into the particularities of disparate places and cultures in order to sound the differences between them.
A moving elegy. It is also proof that language has magical potential.--Joanna Scott
The clarity of his artistic vision, formal innovation, and emotional honesty are enviable.
In this strange and beautiful novel as in life, love is part of what is sacred.--Jeanette Winterson
The Trace is a rule-breaking work of fierce imagination and rich, associative thinking. Love, landscape, poetry, pain--these draw Gander's characters to the edge of the void. Paying attention to detail--its accumulation and its demands--is what keeps them from toppling in.--John McElwee
The Trace is a tense, propulsive thriller, which keeps on building until the very last page.--Hari Kunzru